process for going solar

How to go solar in three steps

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Going solar can seem like a daunting and complicated process, but to simplify things, you can break it down into three main steps: deciding if solar is right for you, comparing real solar quotes, and ultimately making a smart decision. Here’s an easy framework to walk you through the process:

Find out what solar panels cost in your area in 2020

Step 1: Decide if solar is right for you

The first step on your solar journey has nothing to do with actually installing panels on your property. Before any of that, it’s important to understand whether you are a good candidate for solar. We know, we know…as a solar company, you’d think we’d recommend solar panels to everyone, right? But in reality, solar may or may not be the right energy choice for you depending on how much electricity you use and your property.

Our Solar Calculator can provide an estimate of your savings potential with solar panels based on your unique roof, geographic location, average electricity bill, and solar production. These estimates can help you get a better sense of how much you can save with solar.

Worried your property isn’t a good fit for solar? Check out our article that breaks down some of the most important questions to ask when determining if solar is right for your home or business. You might be surprised: going solar can be a great financial decision for people in all different areas of the country (and some of the best states for solar aren’t even the sunniest ones).

Step 2: Compare solar quotes

Once you’ve decided that solar is a viable option for your property, it’s time to start looking at real offers from qualified solar installation companies. Like any important purchase, it’s smart to shop around and compare your options to make sure you’re getting the right system for a fair price. 

With an online marketplace like EnergySage, you can easily receive quotes (for free!) from qualified, local solar panel installation companies, all competing for your business. 

Solar installation quotes often have a lot of information regarding equipment, financing options, system design, and, of course, the company doing the installation. Because there are many parts to a solar quote, you need to make sure you’re looking at the most important parts with a critical eye – that’s why we’ve developed a guide on how to review solar quotes to make your decision as straightforward as possible.

Step 3: Choose a solar quote & start the installation process

When you’re comfortable with an installer’s quote and reputation, let them know you’re ready to move forward and sign on the dotted line to kick your solar project off.

Once you choose an installer, they’ll finalize your system design, handle any permitting required by your city or utility company and, soon enough, be on-site installing your solar panel system. Solar panel installations generally follow five major steps:

  1. Engineering site visit
  2. Permits and documentation
  3. Ordering equipment
  4. Solar panel installation
  5. Approval and interconnection

You can learn more about each of these steps in our overview of the solar installation process.

The best way to go solar? Use an online marketplace like EnergySage

You can make sure your solar journey is as easy as possible by registering for the EnergySage Marketplace, where you can compare up to seven quotes from high-quality local solar companies side-by-side. All quotes use the same standard assumptions, making it the most transparent and easy way to compare your options and choose the best one for you. If you’d like to start with some ballpark numbers on estimated solar costs and savings, try our Solar Calculator

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Find out what solar panels cost in your area in 2020
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About Jacob Marsh

Jacob is a researcher and content writer at EnergySage, where he focuses primarily on current issues–and new technology!–in the solar industry. With a background in environmental and geological science, Jacob brings an analytical perspective and passion for conservation to help solar shoppers make the right energy choices for their wallet and the environment. Outside of EnergySage, you can find him playing Ultimate Frisbee or learning a new, obscure board game.

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